Friday, October 28, 2011

UC Personal Statement Review


For international students applying to UC for Fall 2012 admission

Friday, November 18, 9-12
Wednesday, November 23, 11:30-1:30

See Mark in the Counseling Center
No appointment necessary
First come, first served
Be prepared to wait!

Bring a 2nd or 3rd draft, NOT a rough draft!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Get a low-cost flu shot at DVC

Flu season is approaching, and college students are at great risk of getting the flu. Please consider getting a flu shot at DVC for only $20. Here's more information:

Flu Shot Clinic
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
11:30 a.m. -2:00 p.m.
DVC Student Union Room 202
v $20.00 Flu Shot
v $25.00 Preservative Free Flu Shot
v $55.00 Pneumonia

The cost of the shot is worthwhile if it keeps you from getting sick and missing classes and exams.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


UC Berkeley offers the opportunity for qualified students to take one nonrestricted class at UC Berkeley in the fall or spring semester. The minimum qualifications are as follows:

1. Minimum 2.4 GPA on UC-transferable coursework.
2. Completion of at least 20 UC-transferable units.
3. Completion of English 122 with a C or better.
4. Never attended a four-year college or university under regular admission.
5. Enrolled full-time during the term of concurrent enrollment, UCB and DVC units combined (e.g. 3 units at Cal, 9 units at DVC).

International students are welcome to participate in concurrent enrollment as long as they meet the minimum qualifications as described above.

For more details, visit the following webpage and view the video. Later in the semester, there will be a participation form for Spring 2012 concurrent enrollment. That page will include further instructions as well as dates and deadlines.


In a previous post, I stated that only UC Berkeley, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Merced use the personal statement in making an admissions decision. According to some recent information I found on the UC system website, the four campuses that use the personal statement in making an admissions decision are Berkeley, Los Angeles, Merced, and Irvine, not San Diego.

However, you should take your personal statement seriously, even if you are not applying to one of the four campuses mentioned above. Personal statements can be used in consideration for scholarships, and international students can apply for merit-based scholarships when they apply to the UC system.


Beginning Spring 2012, any student wanting to take a non-repeatable class for the third time must submit a petition to the Dean of Enrollment Management online. For example, if you took ENGL-122 in Spring 2011 and withdrew with a W, then took it in Fall 2011 and received a D, you will have to submit a petition to take it a third time. Here is a link to the petition:

If you make a substandard grade or withdraw with a W the third time, you will have to submit an appeal in order to take the class a fourth time.

The reason for this change in policy is that the state of California has changed its law regarding repetition of classes, thus we must abide by the state's law.

If you have questions about this policy or others, please see me or another counselor.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Great Majors and Careers Website

Do you know what you want to major in, yet you wonder what kinds of jobs you might get with a degree in that major? The link to the website below has great information on various majors and the types of careers you can work toward with a degree in that major. Check it out and discover for yourself that you don't have to major in Business or Economics to get have a satisfying and rewarding career.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Opportunity to connect with SFSU staff and students

The following message comes from Izy Alilin, the international outreach representative from San Francisco State University:

Please forward the below banner-link and/or attachment to all your international students inviting them to meet San Francisco State University during the International Day event on Thursday, October 13, 2011 from 2:00am – 4:00pm (PDT). Our international students and staff will be available for LIVE Chat during the whole event and a LIVE Video session from 9:00am-10:00am (PDT) on Thursday, October 13, 2011.

Monday, October 3, 2011

UC Personal Statement

Here are some helpful points to remember as you begin working on your UC personal statement:

1. The purpose of the personal statement is to complete the application; therefore it is important that you completely fill out your application before you begin writing your personal statement. The personal statement helps put the rest of your application in context.
2. The maximum limit is 1000 words. You may write as many words as you want in each prompt, but UC recommends that you write at least 250 words in the shorter response. Going over the limit by a few words, e.g. 1000+12, is fine.
3. Only UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC San Diego, and UC Merced use the personal statement in making admissions decisions; however, all UC campuses may use the personal statement in determining qualifications for scholarships.
4. No admission decision will be based on the personal statement alone. There are many factors to consider, e.g. GPA, preparation for the major, employment history, extra-curricular activities, etc.
5. Even if you apply for different majors at more than one campus, you can submit only one personal statement; therefore, your response to Prompt #1 must be carefully worded to indicate your true academic goal (i.e. don’t make your response pertain to only one major or campus).
6. For Prompt #2, be specific; choose ONE quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution, OR experience to discuss.
7. Remember who your readers are: UC faculty and admissions professionals. Also remember that the personal statement is a college-level piece of writing, so put a lot of thought and attention into it.
8. Remember that your readers might have only a few minutes (3-5) to read your statement. Quality, not quantity, counts.
9. It is fine to get feedback from others on your statement, but ultimately it must be written by you alone! Don’t get too many people to give you feedback; if you do, your statement will become their words, not yours.
10. There are no secret tricks or strategies in writing the personal statement. The admissions committees want to get to know who you are as a person. It’s like an interview, only on paper rather than in person. They are not looking for anything in particular except YOU.
11. Compose your personal statement in a word processing program, then copy and paste into the appropriate fields in the online application.
12. Use the Additional Comments section to explain things that aren’t explained in other parts of your application, e.g. why you have a lot of W’s on your transcript, gaps in your education, etc. But do NOT use Additional Comments as an extension of your personal statement. It is NOT “Prompt #3.”

Web address for the UC online application:

Web address for the UC personal statement: